Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

2019 Américas Award Ceremony & Workshop Recap

October 3rd, 2019

Story by Erika Pettersen, Stone Center graduate student and Publicity Assistant

On September 27th, the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs held the 2019 Américas Award Ceremony & Workshop at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. CLASP founded the Américas Award in 1993 to honor authors, illustrators and publishers who produce children’s and young adult books that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States. The Award is also meant to provide teachers with quality recommendations for classroom use.

This year’s event celebrated two Américas Award Winners: Islandborn by Junot Diaz and illustrated by Leo Espinosa (Dial Books, 2018) and Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight by Duncan Tonatiuh (Abrams Books, 2018). Two Honor Books were also recognized: Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings by Francie Latour and illustrated by Ken Daley (Groundwood Books, 2018), and The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (HarperCollins, 2018).

The program began with a reading of Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings by author Francie Latour, which was followed by the official Américas Awards Ceremony. After receiving his award, Duncan Tonatiuh held a workshop where he shared his insights on storytelling and illustration. Through narrative and artistic reinterpretation of ancient Mixtec codices, Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight brings to life the story of Juan and the many other undocumented workers in America who work hard and make a positive contribution to society. Using this work as inspiration, Tonatiuh guided participants in creating visual reflections of their own life experiences. There were 75 participants at the award ceremony and approximately 50 at the makerspace.

The Stone Center has invited Tonatiuh to facilitate “Incorporate Stories of Migration through Children’s Literature with Duncan Tonatiuh: K-16 Workshop.” He will share strategies for engaging young readers with topics of immigration while also introducing them to the tradition of Mesoamerican codices. Additionally, Professor Brooke Grant will highlight connections to the Social Studies classroom. Teachers, librarians, and anyone interested in learning more about Tonatiuh’s work are welcome to attend this workshop taking place on Thursday, October 10th, from 5 – 7 pm at 100A Jones Hall (Greenleaf Conference Room). Visit the official event page to learn more and register.